Daily Devotion, September 22, 2020 - Jesus' Advice for Hard Times

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion: September 22, 2020
Reading: Luke 21:1-21
Weekly Theme: God Supplies Our Every Need
Today: Jesus’ Advice for Hard Times

As we look over the past 8 months, despite the divisiveness that surrounds us, I think we can all agree on one thing: these are hard times. During this time in our nation, we have faced impeachment of the President of our country, experienced a pandemic like none other in our lifetime, and witnessed political divisiveness leading to riots and civil unrest and have also suffered natural disasters. Our tendency may be to turn to the wrong places and spaces for answers and solutions to these problems. How are you and I handling all that we have experienced during these trying times? Jesus offers us solutions in today’s Scripture reading from Luke 21.

Jesus has just witnessed a poor widow give two copper coins at the temple doors and commented about how she has proportionately given more than the others as she put her trust in God to provide. This is followed by the disciples marveling about how the temple is adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God. Jesus reminds them that the temple will not last forever…stone will fall upon stone. This statement leads into an honest conversation about end times --- they are not going to be easy times. We can expect false teachers who even use the name of Jesus in their teaching. There will be uprisings and wars with nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, betrayal within families and among friends, extreme and dangerous weather conditions and, persecution and belittling of believers. If this description sounds familiar, it could be because it looks and sounds much like today’s headline news.

However, Jesus does not just tell about gloom and doom without offering hope and advice about how we survive those times in our lives in which we may feel life is over. He provides words of assurance by telling his disciples to not be afraid and to make up their mind to not worry and continue to bear witness and testify about Jesus. Jesus will provide the means for us to witness by giving us wisdom and the right words to say so that no one, not even our enemies, can refute us. Jesus says he will protect us saying that not a hair on our head will parish. We are to stand firm, lift our head and embrace our redemption during these hard times with assurance that the Kingdom is near. These words of Jesus are enduring and comforting. They were not just meant for the disciples of that day but are meant for us today as well. Jesus ends Luke 21 advising us to not turn to the wrong things the world offers us to cope with trials such as drunkenness, carousing and anxiety but to follow his own example we find in verse 37… watch, pray, teach others and spend time with God.

If we all are to be honest, Luke 21 sounds much like a description of our world today. But instead of being afraid and frightened we can turn to the hope and joy we have in knowing Jesus and stand firm on his promise to provide us with the right words, wisdom and spirit to endure these difficult times as we watch, pray and look for the ways Jesus is present in our lives.

Dear God, thank for Jesus who taught us that he will give us all we need to endure the difficulties of end times. Lord, we do not know when your Son will return, but we are assured that no matter what, your Spirit, will be with us to give us all we need to survive and even thrive during the most difficult times. Help us to always stand firm in our faith as Jesus has instructed. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

  August 2021  
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